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The New Interface – Mass media choices: revise your thinking

Media choices for advertising can be difficult. Most marketing managers for larger companies with formal advertising skills are comfortable to leave them in the hands of media planners in agencies. Smaller companies that handle their advertising on an ad-hoc basis follow the observable behaviour of larger companies. The result is often less than ideal.
The challenge in selecting media lies in its complexity. For instance, if you wanted to sell a breakfast cereal, where would you advertise. Assuming you take the stereotypical view of the household, you would make the assumption that the woman would be responsible for shopping, or at least the list. What media would you choose to reach her? At what time of day would she be most likely to be using that media?
In Namibia, the range of media types is limited. It is a function of the size of the market, but it is also a function of fragmentation. There are, for instance, a large number of daily papers, trying to reach the same consumers with similar content offerings. The same applies to radio. Because the market is small, segmentation and targeted media becomes a threat, the exception being business news.

Targeted niche media, at this point, includes relatively low volume media targeted at mothers, home owners or buyers and animal lovers. Press, it must be noted, valiantly attempts to niche target by producing supplements.
Given the overlaps in media usage, the typical media plan tries to reduce the potential of missing a consumer by using a set of the same media, substantially increasing the cost, but for marginal gains in visibility, which translates into yet more marginal gains in consumer activation.
The turnover of the local organisation dictates that the marketing budget will be relatively small, sometimes even tiny. However, if a traditional mass media campaign is required, there are options that are often overlooked. Consider the typical campaigns for brands driven out of South Africa. In many instances, larger local enterprises will ignore the most obvious examples of South African media usage, billboards and television.
The standard objection will be that the South African entity has a larger budget. This is almost certainly not true. Local media spend will be linked to productivity of the media, so the budget will be limited by sales, and it will mirror the amount available on a Namibian budget.
What do South African media planners know that local media planners ignore?
Both television and billboards are extremely effective mediums that drive sales. And, with a bit of adroit planning, both of them can fit comfortably into the local budget.
The reason for the impact is that both of the mediums are ‘captive’ mediums. Their users are focussed on them. Although radio fits comfortably in a car, the driver’s mind may be elsewhere. The driver’s eyes however can pick up the message of a well-made billboard with ease.
Although newspapers are pervasive, the page can be turned rapidly without stopping to dwell on the advertisement. There are however a huge number of viewers who sit down to watch local television, OneAfrica and NBC. The viewers are less likely to ‘turn the page’. They sit down and become captive by choosing to watch.
The comparative costs are not expensive, particularly if you consider fragmentation of media. The cost of spreading a campaign over the range of print and radio options can easily be offset against the cost of a couple of well chosen billboard sites. Television may come across as expensive, but an entire budget for a campaign over a couple of months, including production, will produce a remarkably low cost per 1000 viewers.
This column does not include the web and social media, which are now a particularly important part of the Namibian media landscape. I’ll deal with those in a coming column. For now, consider the cost of established media patterns, and how you can gain by stepping outside the box.


About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.